Govt wants Army Chief’s DoB corrected

The letter was issued to the AG`s branch last week to correct its record and show May 10, 1950 as the date of birth of Gen Singh, sources said.

New Delhi: In a hardening of its stand ahead
of the Supreme Court hearing, the Defence Ministry has
directed that the Army`s records should be corrected to show
that Army Chief Gen.V K Singh`s year of birth is 1950,
contrary to his stand that he was born one year later.

The Defence Ministry has written six days back to the
AG`s branch, Army`s official record keeper, which has so far
maintained that the Gen Singh`s date of birth was May 10,
1951, that it should be reconciled with other records which
show the date as May 10, 1950.

In its letter, the ministry is understood to have sought
a compliance report.

The hearing on the age issue will come up before the apex
court on February 3.

While the AG`s branch has maintained Gen Singh`s date of
birth as May 10, 1951, the Military Secretary`s branch records
it as May 10, 1950.

The move appears to be to reconcile the two dates in Army
records and is an indication of the tough stance of the
government against Gen Singh, who has moved the Supreme Court
on his age issue.

In its first order rejecting Army Chief`s contention on
July 21, the Defence Ministry had asked the AG`s branch to
record 1950 as Gen Singh`s year of birth.

In its July 21 decision, the Ministry had declared the
order issued by the Adjutant General (Manpower and Planning)
on February 25 directing amendment of the date of birth as May
10, 1951 instead of May 10, 1950 as recorded as "null and void
and non est".

Soon after the order was issued by the Ministry, the Army
chief had filed a statutory complaint with Defence Minister A
K Antony reiterating that his date of birth should be accepted
as May 10, 1951.
Army Headquarters had later openly questioned the
decision, saying that the date of birth mentioned in his
matriculation certificate cannot be ignored.

It had said the Defence Ministry has arrived at its
decision on the issue on the basis of what it was told by the
MS Branch which has no jurisdiction on such issues.

After the Ministry rejected his statutory complaint on
December 30, Gen Singh moved the Supreme Court on January 16
challenging the government decision of not accepting his
assertion on his date of birth issue.

As per the 1950 date of birth, Gen Singh will have to
leave office on May 31, this year whereas acceptance of May
10, 1951 would give him an extension of ten months in office.
The ministry had asked the AG branch in July last year
to reconcile the dates, making it May 10, 1950 but this was
not done and hence a fresh direction was issued, highly placed
sources said.

This is the first time that any Service chief has dragged
the government to the court. The petition has been filed and
senior advocate U U Lalit will represent Gen Singh before the
apex court.

The Army Chief has maintained that the issue of date of
birth and age is related to his honour and integrity and he
has handled it in the best interest of the organization.


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